Category Archives: poetry

Lift me up — Kate Voegle

Lift me Up — Kate Voegle

This road is anything but simple
Twisted like a riddle I’ve seen high and I’ve seen low
So loud, the voices of all my doubts
Telling me to give up, to pack up and leave town

Even so, I had to believe
Impossible means nothing to me, yeah

So can you lift me up,
Turn the ashes into flames
‘Cause I have overcome
More than words will ever say
And I’ve been given hope
That there’s a light on up the hall
And that a day will come
When the fight is won
And I think that day has just begun

Somewhere, every body starts there
I’m counting on a small prayer,
Lost in a nightmare
But I’m here, and suddenly it’s so clear
The struggle through the long years
It taught me to outrun my fears

Everything worth having, oh
Comes with trials worth withstanding

So can you lift me up,
Turn the ashes into flames
‘Cause I have overcome
More than words will ever say
And I’ve been given hope
That there’s a light on up the hall
And that a day will come
When the fight is won
And I think that day has just begun…

Bring Everything With You

Bring everything with you —
Leave nothing behind.
All that baggage, those things
You are afraid of, and afraid for.
All the tears of the past, all the laughter,
All the things that make you who you are.

What good is an empty spirituality,
One that only wants only the best of you
That tells you those other things are sins?
That tells you heaven
Is a place that only comes after death.
That peace cannot be found here and now?

What good a religion that makes you forget things
You don’t want to remember,
That have scarred you and left you on the ground.
Things you’ve poisoned your own well with
Things you’ve thrown at others,
The ones you’ve walked away from?

This Tao, it takes in everything
It cares not what you think
Or who you love or hate
Or how much you deny
All those secret places inside of you.
The places nobody can know.

How can anyone explain how great it is,
How insignificant,
How high it rises, how far it falls.
Why do we follow Tao?
Because it accepts it all —
All the secrets, all the mysteries,

All the things we hide from the world.
We can bring them all here.
And Tao takes them in,
Uses what is useful
Loves more what is most useless.
Loves everything we hate and fear.

It all comes in and Tao takes it all.
What do we walk away with?
Peace, joy, love, happiness.
Because all that baggage,
All those cares, all those pains
Are dropped into the void.

They are recycled and reused.
To become someone else’s burden,
Or no burden at all.
We have paid our price
We have carried our share.
And we leave it all here.

We take back the light.
Return is the way of the Tao.
So we return from the void
With an empty heart,
An open mind,
A new way of being in the world.

Flowing like water
Spreading Life everywhere
Not asking for anything back
Not holding anything back
It all pours out and finds a way though
A way around and forward to the sea.

Bring everything with you
Leave it all behind and walk away renewed.
Isn’t that what we all want
from our religions
From our friends and our lives…
But who dares to walk the path to the void?

Possibilities

“The innocence of youth is necessary again and again through the thresholds of a life no matter our chronological age. Therefore, at any time of your life, follow your own questions; don’t mistake other people’s questions for your own. Fall in love with your own questions… see innocence not as something to be replaced by experience but as a way… of paying attention, without which you cannot begin a new cycle of investigation. Fall in love with the possibilities ahead. At least to begin with, be infatuated with an imagined perfection. Let your hoped-for intuitions be true until they are proved wrong. — David Whyte, The Three Marriages

Noble

“In nobler books we are moved with something like the emotions of life; and this emotion is very variously provoked. We are so moved when Levine labours in the field, when Andre sinks beyond emotion, when Richard Feverel and Lucy Desborough meet beside the river, when Antony, “not cowardly, puts off his helmet,” when Kent has infinite pity on the dying Lear, when, in Dostoieffky’s “Despised and Rejected”, the uncomplaining hero drains his cup of suffering and virtue. These are notes that please the great heart of man. Not only love, and the fields, and the bright face of danger, but sacrifice and death and unmerited suffering humbly supported, touch in us the vein of the poetic. We love to think of them, we long to try them, we are humbly hopeful that we may prove heroes also. ”
Robert Louis Stevenson

All parts of ourselves both give and receive. They function on a principle of reciprocity inherent in their very character. If our senses are so noble, shouldn’t we be as well? ”

Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. ”
— Dead Poet’s Society

It may seem clever to know and accept others
Yet accepting oneself is the way to Wisdom.
It may feel powerful to overcome others
Yet disciplining oneself is true Strength.
It may be noble to honor others
Yet respecting oneself is deep self-esteem.

Tao Mentoring

“Academic chairs are many, but wise and noble teachers are few; lecture-rooms are numerous and large, but the number of young people who genuinely thirst after truth and justice is small.”
— Albert Einstein

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lin Yutang

“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone succeed”
— Alan Loy McGinnis

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?”
— Friedrich Nietzsche

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.”
— Kahlil Gibran

“When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman” — Jean de la Bruyere

“All that is noble is in itself of a quiet nature, and appears to sleep until it is aroused and summoned forth by contrast.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” — Dodie Smith

“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.”
— Aristotle

OK, people, go do some noble deeds now!!

I’m off to a hot shower…

Journeys and Artists

thejourney
“The Journey”, Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

“This journey is long but there are prayers being told to smooth your fantasy pathway,” my Wind did say. “A toast to you as well! I send sunshine; and the mist of rainbows wherever you go.” And with that the Wind went on its way. “I’ve much to do,” quite breezily he said. “And after that I must go out and play.”
— Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Jessie at Diary of a Self-Portrait is longing for an artist’s journey to India. She’s just made a very difficult choice, giving up her studio, but may not yet fully realize this is the first step in her new journey. It’s going to be an interesting year for her! Sunshine and Rainbows to you, Jessie, sunshine and rainbows… and now, I must go out and play!

Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will –whatever we may think.
— Lawrence Durrell

“Your journey never ends. Life has a way of changing things in incredible ways.” — Alexander Volkov

Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.
Nikos Kazantzakis
nikos kazantzakis

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
— John Steinbeck

The ultimate truth of the journey and its final rewards are still for each of us to face alone.
Deng Ming-Dao

I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.
Lillian Smith

What’s the point? Why all of this walking? It is simply because Tao only can be found in the journey that is in the walking. Tao, true, real, permanent, nameless Tao cannot be found in any book, or in any school.
Bill Bunting

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
— Matsuo Basho

“The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases”
— William Hazlitt

“What people forget is a journey to nowhere starts with a single step, too.”
— Chuck Palahniuk

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

-– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Words

I built my hut within where others live,
But there is no noise of carriages and horses.
You ask how this is possible:
When the heart is distant, solitude comes.
I pluck chrysanthemums by the eastern fence
And see the distant southern mountains.
The mountain air is fresh at dusk.
Flying birds return in flocks.
In these things there lies a great truth,
But when I try to express it, I cannot find the words.

Tao Chien

The Dormant Poet

“Know that there is often hidden in us a dormant poet, always young and alive.” — de Musset

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
— Patanjali

“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”
— Washington Irving

“The unique personality which is the real life in me, I can not gain unless I search for the real life, the spiritual quality, in others. I am myself spiritually dead unless I reach out to the fine quality dormant in others. For it is only with the god enthroned in the innermost shrine of the other, that the god hidden in me, will consent to appear.” — Felix Adler

“No human being ever learns to live until he has awakened to the dormant powers within him” –William James

THE RECITAL

They have asked me what it is to sing—
I struggle to explain it’s like a prayer,
that moment on the stage before you share
whatever waits inside you. Like some spring
that wells and inundates your mind with pure
strong, flowing sound, connected to a dream
from someone else’s sleep. You join their stream,
and they possess your will. You must be sure
that what you do comes from another place
and from another time. Yours is the trust
to bring a dormant poet face to face
with living spirits, shake away the dust.
And when belief enlivens every note,
then genius speaks unaided from your throat.

— Janet Kenny

Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Paris, 15 July 1875

Dear Theo,

Our Uncle Vincent visited us here, I saw him often and talked about a heap of things with him. I asked him if he saw any chance of getting you a place in the store in Paris.

At first he wouldn’t hear of it, saying that you were too valuable in The Hague. Then, after I insisted, he said he would think about it.

He will certainly come to see you while he is in The Hague; he is not going to change from his dullness, let him say what he wants, it will do no harm to you, and won’t do you any harm when you need something in the future. Don’t talk of me unless you need something.

He is very, very clever. When I was here last winter, one of the things he said to me was, “Supernatural things I may not know, but I know everything about natural things.” I do not know if those were his exact words, but that was the meaning.

I can also tell you that one of his favourite pictures is “Lost Illusions” by Gleyre.

Sainte-Beuve said, “In most men there exists a poet who died young, whom the man survived.” And Musset said, “Know that often a dormant poet is hidden within us, always young and alive.” I think Uncle Vincent belongs to the first group. So you know whom you are dealing with. Ask him squarely if he can arrange for you to have authority here or in London.

Thank you for your letter that came this morning and the poem by Rückert. Do you have a copy of his poems? I would love to get to know them. As soon as I have a chance, I shall send you a French Bible, and The Imitation of Christ. It was probably the favourite book of that lady painted by Ph. de Champaigne. There is a portrait of her daughter, a nun, in The Louvre, also by Ph. de Ch. She has l’Imitation on the chair beside her.

Father wrote to me once: “You know that the same mouth which said: “Be as harmless as the doves,” and straight away added: “and wise as a serpent.” [Matt. 10:16] Keep that in mind and believe me always,

Your loving brother, Vincent

Do you have the photographs after Meissonier in the gallery? Look at them often; he has painted men. Probably you know his “Le Fumeur à la Fenêtre” and “Le jeune Homme Déjeunant.”

At this time, Vincent was 22 year old

Source:
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 15 July 1875 in Paris. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, published in Facsimile of original letter, number 031.

World I used to Know

Woke up to the first song in my dreams — a man was singing it to me and gave me some hiking boots to put on… I actually remember this song best from watching Tommy Smothers sing it on the Smothers Brothers show long ago.

World I used to know

Some day some old familiar rain will come along and know my name.
And then my shelter will be gone and I’ll have to move along.
But ’till I do I’ll stay awhile and track the hidden country of your smile.
Some day the man I used to be will come along and call on me.
And then because I’m just a man, you’ll find my feet are made of sand.
But ’till that time I’ll tell you lies and chart the hidden bound’ries of your eyes.
Some day the world I use to know will come along and bid me go.
Then I’ll be leaving you behind for love is just a state of mind.
But ’till that day I’ll be your man and love away your troubles if I can.

Rod McKuen

Afterglow

Like the dust that settles all around me,
I must find a new home.
The ways and holes that used to give me shelter,
Are all as one to me now.
But I, I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.

I miss you more
Than the sun reflecting off my pillow,
Bringing the warmth of new life.
And the sounds that echoed all around me,
I caught a glimpse of in the night.
But now, now I’ve lost everything,
I give to you my soul.
The meaning of all that I believed before
Escapes me in this world of none, no thing, no one.

And I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.
For now I’ve lost everything,
I give to you my soul.
The meaning of all that I believed before
Escapes me in this world of none,
I miss you more

Genesis’ cover
Music and lyrics by Tony Banks

Right Where it Belongs

See the animal in his cage that you built,
Are you sure what side you’re on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye,
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?

See the safety of the life you have built,
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart,
And it’s all…right where it belongs

What if everything around you,
Isn’t quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself…find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world’s inside of your head?
Just creations of your own
Your devils and your gods all the living and the dead
And you really oughta know

You can live in this illusion
You can choose to believe
You keep looking but you can’t find the words,
Are you hiding in the trees?

What if everything around you,
Isn’t quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know,
Is an elaborate dream?

And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks,
Would you find yourself…find yourself afraid to see?

— Nine Inch Nails

There is no one but us

No One But Us
by Annie Dillard

There is no one but us.
There is no one to send,
Nor a clean hand,
Nor a pure heart
On the face of the earth,
Nor in the earth
But only us,
A generation comforting ourselves
With the notion
That we have come at an awkward time,
That our innocent fathers are all dead –
As if innocence has ever been –
And our children busy and troubled,
And we ourselves unfit, not yet ready,
Having each of us chosen wrongly,
Made a false start, failed,
Yielded to impulse
And the tangled comfort of pleasures,
And grown exhausted,
Unable to seek the thread,
Weak, and involved.
But there is no one but us.
There never has been.

From the book Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard

Happy Birthday, old friend….

You know who you are…. happy birthday!

Love’s End

Though many years have passed since last we met,
Thoughts of thee can make me smile most gladly;
While parting left us echoes of regret,
Golden haze lights love that ended badly.
Time cannot change true feelings of the past,
Nor distance dim the brightest fire’s glow;
Yet love doth change and is not meant to last,
And lovers minds cannot the future know.
There lives a part of me inside of thee,
And part of thee resides within my breast;
The better part of us remains most free,
To love another, better-suited guest.
I would not change what passed between our hearts,
But love is ended when the lover parts.

Diamond Girl
(Lyrics by James Seals; music by James Seals & Dash Crofts, 1973)

Diamond Girl, you sure do shine. Glad I found you, glad you’re mine.
Oh my love, you’re like a precious stone, part of earth where heaven has rained on.
Makes no difference where you are. Day or nighttime, you’re like a shinin’ star.
And how could I shine without you, when it’s about you that I am?

Diamond Girl, roamin’ wild. Such a rare thing, radiant child.
I could never find, another one like you. Part of me is deep down inside you.
Can’t you feel the whole world a-turnin’. We are real, and we are a-burnin’.
Diamond Girl, now that I’ve found you, it’s about you that I am.

Diamond Girl, you sure do shine. Diamond Girl, you sure do shine.
Diamond Girl, you sure do shine. Diamond Girl, you sure do shine…

We May Never Pass This Way (Again)
(Lyrics by James Seals; music by James Seals & Dash Crofts, 1973)

Life, so they say, is but a game and we let it slip away.
Love, like the Autumn sun, should be dyin’ but it’s only just begun.
Like the twilight in the road up ahead, they don’t see just where we’re goin’.
And all the secrets in the Universe, whisper in our ears
And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up.
We may never pass this way again. We may never pass this way again.
We may never pass this way again.

Dreams, so they say, are for the fools and they let ’em drift away.
Peace, like the silent dove, should be flyin’ but it’s only just begun.
Like Columbus in the olden days, we must gather all our courage.
Sail our ships out on the open sea. Cast away our fears
And all the years will come and go, and take us up, always up.
We may never pass this way again…

So, I wanna laugh while the laughin’ is easy. I wanna cry if it makes it worthwhile.
We may never pass this way again, that’s why I want it with you.
‘Cause, you make me feel like I’m more than a friend. Like I’m the journey and you’re the journey’s end.
We may never pass this way again, that’s why I want it with you, baby…